uros floating islands

Culture in the reed islands of Lake Titicaca

Within Lake Titicaca and its magnetic appeal, there are some popular islands that today form one of the main attractions of the area. These islands occupy a small region of the highest navigable lake in the world. But, did you know that these islands are artificial and made by the Uros culture itself? Just with our colleagues from Cusco Peru Travel, we have thought of an article explaining the most important aspects of this unique culture in Peru. Join us to get to know the magical Uros islands of Lake Titicaca.

Peruvian Culture: Everything you need to know about the reed islands of Lake Titicaca


description of the uros islands

Reed Island is home to one of the most fascinating indigenous groups in South America. Without a doubt, the floating island of Uros is one of the highlights of your experience. Despite being a fairly old culture, Uros has adopted certain modern technologies well. The floating islands of the Uros people and most of the islands are made of reeds called “totorá” plants. From houses, boats, furniture, churches, schools, these are made of reeds. On one of the islands, there is even a watchtower made of reed, which has now become a monument and part of their great history. In recent years, opinions have been heard that the experience seems a bit theatrical or artificial. But you have to understand that the people of Uros know very well their position concerning the world and they plan to take advantage of the growing tourism in Peru. The floating islands have become one of the main attractions in Lake Titicaca and one of the best things to do in Puno.


history of the uros islands

Some historians and popular scholars believe that the Uros were the direct descendants of the first residents of Lake Titicaca. The Uros are a unique indigenous race that migrated to Lake Titicaca about 3700 years ago. Over time, they mingled with nearby Aymara culture and eventually gave up their language and many traditions. It is believed that they entered the lake area to defend against different invading groups. Today, numerous villagers continue to choose to live in the area, earning money through tourism. Tourism is one of its main sources of money, managing to sell handicrafts. All this while staying true to their culture and tradition by wearing their traditional clothes and eating as they did in the past. If the experience of the reed islands of Lake Titicaca is not enough, you can try visiting Amantani Island, another great attraction.


what to do in the uros islands

If you plan to visit the beautiful floating islands on the lake, you are likely to arrive by boat. There are about 400 families on these islands, and depending on your tourist agency, you will have the opportunity to live with one of them for a few days. Visiting these islands is a great opportunity to learn about one of Peru’s oldest cultures. Take advantage and help local families by buying scattered souvenirs or handicrafts. It would be a good choice to spend your holiday on a trip from Cusco to Lake Titicaca.


culture in the reed islands

uros islands and their culture

The Uros culture is quite old and the totora plant could be considered the backbone of it. Practically everything is made with this wonderful plant. Their houses, boats, even the islands themselves are built with the reed cane. And it was this way for generations, with the difference that today they have some more comforts than before. The Uros subsist mainly on fishing, hunting birds, and collecting their eggs. But the Uros are not denied in the face of continuous advance and globalization, so their children attend different schools. Older children who want to continue their education choose to move to big cities. The main source of income for the Uros is tourism. And this has brought some obvious modern conveniences and technologies to the Uros. Some tourists don’t like the experience because it feels a bit theatrical. But it cannot be denied that the Uros have known how to take advantage of their great culture and traditions. The islands can be found where Lake Titicaca is located.


touring the reed islands

The unique lifestyle of the Uros people has made it a popular place for tourists traveling to Peru. You will find that in the surroundings of Puno and the Lake, numerous companies offer a variety of options at different prices. There are different ways to get to know the floating islands, you can choose to simply spend a day or choose to stay with one of the families. You can even make the most of your tour in Lake Titicaca and visit the other islands that are around.


We hope together with the experts from Cusco Peru Travel to have guided you a little about what the Uros culture is about. Visiting this wonderful indigenous community is a great way to get to know the extensive culture of Peru. If you want to know more about our private tours of the islands, you can consult with our advisors.

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